Fitz and Becca Cahall of Duct Tape Then Beer Prods
I’ve been looking forward to writing about Fitz Cahall, because I have been reading and watching and listening to his adventure stories for months. They’re fantastic. In fact, in the world of adventure journalism, Fitz stands pretty tall.

If you don’t already know them, Fitz Cahall and his wife Becca Cahall run a Seattle based production company called Duct Tape Then Beer. Among their impressive output is a bi-weekly podcast called, The Dirtbag Diaries. (Dirtbag being a term of affection here, as in: avid, passionate climbers, unswayed by such niceties as warm beds, hot showers, steady salaries, or any other distractions that might spoil the purity of a life devoted to rock and the great outdoors).

Fitz Cahall photo courtesy

Fitz Cahall photo courtesy

The podcast roams far beyond rock climbing stories, daring to plumb the meaning of obsession, serendipity, even life itself on more than one occasion.

I am not a rock climber, but I am a journalist. I’m also a professional filmmaker and storyteller, so it’s refreshing when I find someone else who is so committed to their work that it fills my tank too.

What I love about Fitz Cahall can be summed up in one word: Continue Reading →

Expedition Denali will be the first team of African American climbers to ever attempt to summit the tallest peak in America. Does this matter?

CONFESSION: when my friend James Edward Mills first wrote about “The Adventure Gap” between whites and African Americans a few months ago, I cringed a bit. A first glance, the article seemed to point out an utterly self-imposed obstacle. No one was barring American blacks from American National Parks, as far as I knew. If people aren’t participating in outdoor adventure, it’s because they choose not to participate. Just like overweight white guys like me who don’t get out like we used to. The mountains are there. It’s our own damn choice to climb them or not.

I said this was a confession, right? Continue Reading →

Alastair Humphreys
There’s nothing like a Brit for adventure, when he really gets going. I first noticed Alastair Humphreys when National Geographic nominated him as one of their Adventurers of the Year in 2012. Back then, he was fresh off rowing across the Atlantic with 3 other guys and I thought, well, that’s pretty damn ambitious. I didn’t grasp the half of it. This was a man who had already bicycled 46,000 miles around the world.

island camp microadventure

island camp #microadventure february 2013 photo by alastair humphreys

As we do more and more to build Xpedition.TV online, I would notice Alastair’s name popping up in more and more places. Walking across India. Cycling Hadrian’s wall in Britain. Canoeing the Yukon, swimming the Thames, instigating #microadventures on twitter (don’t laugh, he’s got something there). In fact, if you’re in the UK and happen to see a troupe of paste-white Brits plunging into an ice cold lake, mid February, and or hear the shrieks of 10 C water on bare skin – you can be pretty sure who is behind it.

One part Marco Polo, one part merry prankster, Continue Reading →

photo courtesy Sender Films

photo courtesy Sender Films

CONFESSION: I have been a fan of Sender Films for so long that this profile is way past due. For those who don’t know Sender by name, you’ve almost certainly seen their work.

Their annual REEL ROCK FILM TOUR (which they produce in partnership with Big UP Productions) has grown to an iconic event in the climbing community, showing up in over 400 cities worldwide and featuring a “who’s who” of climbing legends: Chris Sharma, Dean Potter, Alex Honnold, and Sasha DiGuilian to name just a few.

I attended a Reel Rock 7 event in Hermosa Beach, California last fall and it was an awesome, crowd pumping show. Especially “La Dura Dura” a climbing showdown film that pits the super chill Chris Sharma against the howling Czech upstart Adam Ondra. The route (a 5.15c in Oliana, Spain) withstood both climbers during the shooting of the film.

On February 7, 2013 Climbing magazine reported that Adam succeeded finally in conquering the route. After nine weeks. Nine. Talk about wanting it.   Continue Reading →

Dave Cornthwaite photo by Miguel EndaraI love the Dave Cornthwaite story. It starts in 2005, when a 23 year old graphic designer walks off his job in London, grabs a skateboard and skates the length of Britain. A new life begins.

Expedition 1000

Expedition 1000 is Dave Cornthwaite’s ambitious plan to undertake 25 expeditions of at least 1000 miles, each using a different kind of non-motorized transport. Skateboards. Paddleboard. Bicycle. Swimming. Sailing. He’s got seven under his belt so far and the stories just keep getting better.

Swim 1000

A few days ago, I came across this excellent short film about Dave’s “Swim 1000” expedition of 2012. This was a 1000 mile swim of the Missouri river undertaken for Coppafeel, the breast cancer charity. The journey began August 10th in Chamberlain, South Dakota and ended 58 days later in St. Louis, Missouri. But that’s not the real story.   Continue Reading →

I found Alan Watts in the glove compartment of a ’69 Firebird. It was years ago, and I was on a long, rambling trek home from Gallina, New Mexico to Los Angeles. You can drive that distance in about 14 hours, but it took me nearly three weeks of wandering the back roads of the Navajo reservation, through Tierra Amarillo and Chaco Canyon and Window Rock.

Anyone who tells you, you can’t have a spiritual experience on a car trip, hasn’t been to the American Southwest. There’s a vastness to these landscapes. And a certain kind of Continue Reading →

Amur RiverI have to confess a certain fondness for long range expeditions, so it was with more than a little excitement that I found myself reading about four women who want to take on the longest, un-dammed river in Mongolia-China-and-Siberia. The Nobody’s River Project launches in May of this year and has all the makings of what Yvon Chouinard calls “real adventure.”

Of course Chouinard (who founded the Patagonia Company) also said “real adventure” doesn’t begin until all your plans lay in ruin, so be careful what you wish for, right?

But something tells me none of these women expect to cross 4,400 plus kilometers of desert, mountains, river gorges and remote Siberia without a hitch. Continue Reading →


WE HAVE OUR SLOT! Ric Gibbs’ talk “Risky Business: why jumping off a cliff is safer than your couch” is now scheduled for the MAIN STAGE at the BIL Conference! Saturday, March 2 at 2:00 pm.

A million thanks! With a scant 5 day window to organize, we were one of the TOP vote-getters in a field of 60 speakers. So I cannot thank you enough making that happen. Votes poured in from all over the states, Europe, even a few from Asia and New Zealand. You guys friggin’ rock!

We’ll be discussing the crucial role that risk and meaningful challenge play in our personal & collective psyche. Continue Reading →

The BIL Conference is the little brother to the TED TALKS this month in Long Beach, CA.
BIL runs the weekend immediately following TED, March 1-3 and is packed with smart, eclectic, thinkers, innovators and yes… EXPLORERS!

XPEDITION.TV needs your help!! We want to introduce ourselves at BIL with an awesome 15 min talk, entitled:

Risky Business:  Why jumping off a cliff is safer than staying on your couch!

Continue Reading →